Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Every year, I plan my New Year’s resolutions well in advance. In fact, I’ve already spent a few days hammering out what I want to do by the end of December. So, why do I put my plan of action into practice before the end of the year?
I assure you, it’s not because I’m an overachiever. However, there are a few logical reasons why I start sooner than most.
How is Starting New Year’s Resolutions Beneficial?
While people use the term “New Year’s Resolution” to inspire a resolute decision to accomplish something, I view them more as simple goals and challenges. Then, I’ll plan out the actions necessary to accomplish those aspirations.
For instance, saying you want to lose the last 40 pounds this year is one thing. Without a plan of action to see that resolution through, it’s merely nothing but words. What do you plan to do to lose that weight?
Hammering Out the Details
Over the next month and a half, I’ll spend time hammering out the details of how I want to accomplish my goal. This includes everything from the blocks of time I’ll need to daily writing goals to hit a certain number of words or time efficiency.
How many words do I need to write this week? How much time am I short for publishing my next book? What should I prioritize throughout the day?
These are questions I try to answer for my New Year’s resolutions before January 1st.
The point is to have a solid plan in place that won’t require a lot of alteration. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go according to plan. More often than not, I’ll have to make a few tweaks as I go because of one thing or another.
Ironing Out the Rough Edges
Because I have so much on my plate, I want to make sure that I have a logical flow before the beginning of the year. This often means changing a few things up so that I can focus on the “primary” goals first.
For example, I keep track of trying to write one million words every year. But the primary goal is to just write more than I did before. That way, I’m not stressing too much when I fall behind the one-million mark.
Also, I get a bit of pride and accomplishment when I surpass the prior year’s performance.
I’ll also “test drive” my schedule for the next year to make sure I’m capable of handling the goals and challenges I am setting for myself. This often includes adding my current day to next year’s spreadsheet to see how the flow will go throughout all of next year.
If every day was like today, what would it mean by the end of the next year?
At this point, I can make some final adjustments to my schedule and consider if anything needs to be dropped.
Getting Into Solid Habits Early
Part of spending the next month and a half simulating New Year’s resolutions is to get into some good habits for workflow. This involves organizing my time to better suit my new needs.
For instance, if I want to sustain my blog schedule, I’ll need X number of words written and Y amount of time spent on Z number of days.
Once you get into a certain rhythm and work toward the end-of-the-year goal, it’ll start to feel like second nature. Writing won’t seem as much of a chore, and you’ll find yourself getting excited for those blocks of time.
Well, at least that’s how it works for me.
Estimations to Use in Next Year’s Spreadsheet
My writing spreadsheet is probably one of the most used apps on my computer. It helps me keep track of everything from how productive I am today to how much money I’m estimated to make by the end of the year.
When I start setting up the spreadsheet to accommodate my New Year’s resolutions, I’ll estimate what I’ll need to hit certain milestones. This includes word counts for blogging, time spent on projects, what I’ll need to write every day to publish a certain amount of books, and more.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll often enter the current day’s numbers to see how the entire year would play out. It’s motivational, inspirational, and gets me excited to start New Year’s resolutions.
Yep, I am such a dork when it comes to forecasting data. I should have been a scientist.
Hitting the Ground Running
Lastly, I’ll start working on goals and challenges for the year in November so I can start the next year in high gear. Come January 1st, I’ll have a good plan of action to keep the ball rolling to achieve some great things.
Case in point, I would really like 2023 to be the Year of the Book. But to make that happen, I need a good workflow and a strong start.
That is as long as life doesn’t derail my plans. Some things are unavoidable and can cause a massive disruption in your New Year’s resolutions. But if those goals are important to you, you’ll need to find a way to persevere.
The bottom line is that I don’t want to sit without a plan come January 1st. When shooting from the hip, it’s more difficult to hit your mark. That is to say that having a plan before you start can help with motivation, determination, focus, and ambition.
Not knowing where to start leaves you running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
New Year’s Resolutions Often Change
The important thing to realize is that resolutions can quickly change depending on your needs and current situations. For instance, I was on track to write quite a bit this past year, but my family issues at the beginning of the year affected my mindset.
Grief will sap your motivation.
Instead of trying to publish three books, I decided to just focus on beating last year’s word count. This doesn’t mean that I’m a failure for not sticking to my original New Year’s resolution. It just means that life happens and priorities change.
There’s nothing wrong with having to adjust your focus or goals to fit your current situation. As long as you’re still working toward some kind of self-improvement, you’re still a winner, in my book.
In the end, a New Year’s resolution centers around that self-improvement of some kind. And to be perfectly honest, you don’t need the number of the year to roll over before you get started.
I suppose that plays a big part in why I start my goals a month and a half early. I often ask myself, “why not start today?”
Have You Thought About Your New Year’s Resolutions?
Not everyone is as excited to start the new year as me. But perhaps you have a few things you’re considering when January 1st comes around. I know I have quite a few ambitions that I’d like to see happen.
But as I’ve said, it means very little without a plan or knowing what steps you’ll need to take to get to where you want to go.
In the meantime, let’s end the year awesomely and get ourselves jazzed for the next.
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